berkshires (and history)

05/28/2018

In march, I went up to the Berkshires for a few days for passover, and in addition to cooking (and eating!), I took a walk around town.  I’ve probably posted pictures of some of these local houses before, but they’re just so…photogenic…that it’s hard to resist.

I took a walk up to the Ashley house, which is probably our town’s most historically significant place. Obviously the town and the falls are named after Colonel Ashley, but more importantly, this house was where the abolition of slavery in Massachusetts was born.  Despite Colonel Ashley, not because of him.

Slate’s podcast on The History of American Slavery (premium subscribers only) did an entire episode on Elizabeth Freeman, and wikipedia gives a good breakdown of her life and case. But the short version is that while Elizabeth Freeman (then known as Mum Bett) was a slave in Ashley’s house, she heard all of these ‘revolutionary’ men discussing the declaration of independence and the constitution, and in particular the concept that “all men are created equal”. And so she went to a lawyer in Great Barrington and sued for her own freedom. And won.

There were a few subsequent cases that ultimately abolished slavery in totality in Massachusetts, but they all cite back to Brom & Bett vs. Ashley as the foundational basis for their decisions.

And after the case, Ashley tried to get Freeman to come back and work for wages, and she basically told him to go pound sand – she spend the rest of her life working in “town” for the family of the lawyer who helped free her. The Ashley house is now largely a historical site that explains the history of Elizabeth Freeman.

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juxtaposition

05/24/2018

Milk silos on a dairy farm in western massachusetts, vs. water towers on a rooftop in new york city.


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random berkshires

10/29/2017

I normally don’t get up to the berkshires during peak foliage season, but a few weeks ago, my brother flew in from Jordan to visit for a few days, somewhat spur of the moment – so I obviously popped up to see him. Of course, in the two days Jeff was here, my dad managed to end up needing an appendectomy, so that put something of a damper on the whole “enjoying” part of the visit (he’s recovered now!), but before everything turned to chaos, I did manage to take some pictures of trees and stuff.




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country road

12/31/2016

More from thanksgiving in the berkshires. our road, featuring some very old houses.

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birdhouses

12/29/2016

From Thanksgiving weekend in the berkshires (yes, I’ve made it to late November in my photo backlog!). My parents have a thing for birdhouses and you’ll find them scattered all over the property.

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seasons

11/29/2016

View of my parents’ apple orchard in early August, and then this past thanksgiving weekend.


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instagram update | september

10/10/2015

september was a lot of apples, apple pie, and in a strange irony or coincidence, both madonna (the sacrilegious one) and the pope showing up in town. and other random assorted stuff. In an even stranger turn of events, no cats.

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berkshires miscellaney | tag sales, dogs and gardens

09/9/2015

As with every year, labor day weekend conveniently coincides with my dad’s birthday, so I headed to the berkshires for the weekend. It was an opportunity to bake a gazillion pies with the ridiculous number of apples from our garden (links to instagram), and to visit friends tag sales and gardens. and dogs. everywhere. Other than the first few pics, which were taken at our friends’ tag sale, most were taken at our friends’ Maria and Roberto’s farm/garden/horse paddock/retreat. Their garden puts everyone else’s to shame and these pics don’t even begin to capture it.

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instagram roundup – april (and a new project in the planning stages)

05/2/2015

april appears to have largely been about meals. But I have also been inspired to finally start a project that I had been thinking about for a while. I want to photograph every subway station in the new york city subway system. It requires some planning in order to not end up repeating myself over and over again, and also switching to an unlimited metrocard. I’ve been organizing myself, putting together a comprehensive list of all of the stations in the system (which there doesn’t seem to be a good one available anywhere?!) and the trains that run through them, and once I start I’m going to try to be methodological and target small sections at a time so that I’m not biting off more than I can chew – I figure If I pick a section of a line to tackle on any particular day when i’ve got no other plans, that’s probably the most sensible way to do it. I like the idea of this project in particular because it’s something that I can choose to do on a day here or there when I’ve got no other plans, and I can put it down and pick it up again depending on how busy I am with other things. But I’m determined to start.

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Happy fourth!?

07/4/2014

I’ve been a bit down lately about my status as a second class citizen since the recent Supreme Court decisions, and have been thinking about tangible things I can do to at least make myself feel like I’m doing something, even if it amounts to spitting in the wind.

In the meantime though, my family is celebrating a very rain-sodden July 4th in the Berkshires and our barbecue got waylaid by the incessant rain. So…flag, and and barbecue trimmings being cooked in the kitchen.

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